At The Crossroads of The Past & Future

At The Crossroads of The Past & Future

It is a small unassuming little shop. A whimsical mural on one side and

Photo courtesy the Mohave Museum of History & Arts

a welcoming bench out front shaded by a tree give it an inviting appearance that is enhanced by the alluring aromas that waft from the front door. This is Savon Bath Treats in Kingman, Arizona, a manifestation of the entrepreneurial spirit that is transforming the historic business district in this desert crossroads.

Located at the corner of Fifth and Beale Streets, just one block from the historical focal point for the district, the corner is a fitting place for a young entrepreneur to set up shop. The building appears to have been built in the late 19th century. In actuality it was built about 25-years ago to mimic the historic architecture in the district. At that time it was a natural products store. Seventy-five years before that it was a service station, one of the first in Kingman. You might say that the corner is located at the crossroads of the past and future.  read more…

Feel The Excitement

Feel The Excitement

There is an infectious sense of excitement, a palpable vibrancy, in forlorn historic

Chillin on Beale in Kingman, Arizona
Photo Jim Hinckley’s America

business districts when a renaissance is unleashed. In Kingman, Arizona, known throughout the world for its association with Route 66, the historic business heart of the city withered and faded for more than three decades. Then, in the summer of 2014, the city hosted the Route 66 International Festival and the reawakening began.

The revival has yet to fully bleed over to the Route 66 corridor on Andy Devine Avenue, but Beale Street is thriving, it is fast becoming a destination for visitors, for locals, and for people from neighboring communities. Events such as Chilln on Beale, held on the third Saturday of each month, April through September, or First Friday mirror the excitement, the vibrancy that now permeates the district.  read more…

A Blending of Past & Future

A Blending of Past & Future

The corner of Fifth and Beale Streets in the historic business district in

Kingman, Arizona is a fitting place for a business that represents the dawning of new era in the city and the reawakening of the American entrepreneurial spirit.

The southeast corner, now occupied by Beale Street Brews Coffee Roasting Company, was the location of the Star Motor Car dealership in the 1920’s. Today the opposite corner is the site of Savon Bath Treats. There is a commonality with both companies as they are manifestations of passionate owners pursuing a dream, a vision.

W. C. Durant (William Crapo) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 8, 1861, but spent his formative years in Flint, Michigan. Abandoning high school to work in his grandfathers lumberyard, and pick assorted odd jobs such as a salesman for a local cigar manufacturer, Durant was a hard worker. read more…

Soap Does More Than Clean

Soap Does More Than Clean

In recent years the development and creation of craft products has gone main stream.

From beer to soap the market dominance of corporate giants is being challenged, and communities are being transformed in the process. Linked with this rather dramatic societal shift is a growing awareness about the pitfalls of chemically laden products.

A case in point, soap. The list of ingredients in most soaps reads like a chemistry exam. As skin absorption is a primary route for exposure to toxic substances, chemicals in soap is a source of concern. A number of chemicals common to aerosol shaving creams, such as sodium lauryl sulfate, dry the skin and remove essential oils that in turn can actually cause permanent and long-term damage to the skin.  read more…

Ghost of Christmas Future

Ghost of Christmas Future

With the almost daily announcements that another chain is closing

The Cellar Door is one manifestation of change in the historic business district in Kingman, Arizona. Photo Jim Hinckley’s America

stores or simply going out of business, the focus is often misplaced. Yes, the traditional brick and mortar chain store is being threatened by on line retailers such as Amazon. There is, however, an aspect to the changing face of how America shops that is not often discussed, and it is linked to a rather dramatic shift in societal evolution in general.

To illustrate this transition, consider this. A recent industry study noted that the golf industry in the United States between 2011 and 2016 saw revenue growth of a little more than 1% annually. There is a dramatic shift from migration to rural areas or suburbs to city centers with citizens over 60 years of age as well as with young professionals. A University of Michigan study determined that after evaluating statistics from 1945 to 2016, the “millennial generation” has the lowest rate of vehicle ownership of similar demographics at a similar age.  read more…

Dawn Of A New Era

Dawn Of A New Era

A few short years ago the historic business district in Kingman, Arizona, as with

The long shuttered Beale Hotel once hosted the rich and famous including Buster Keaton and Charles Lindbergh. Photo Jim Hinckley’s America.

small rural towns throughout the United States, was littered with empty store fronts, overgrown empty lots strewn with trash, pawn shops, and vintage motels that catered to people with limited income who simply needed a place to hang their hat for a week or two. At every turn there were vestiges of better times, and tangible links to a colorful history.

The origins for the renaissance that is currently transforming the historic business district, and the Route 66 corridor in Kingman can be traced to 2014, the year the city hosted the Route 66 International Festival. With enthusiasts from several countries, and more than 20 states, in attendance, the event served as an awakening for the community. Fast forward to 2018.

The Route 66 Association of Kingman, working with property owners and Legacy Signs, is bringing back the colorful glow of neon through the restoration of historic signage. Public art projects facilitated by the Kingman Center for the Arts and the Art Hub are enhancing the tangible vibrancy, and fostering development of a sense of community. Award winning microbreweries, eclectic restaurants, a diverse array of shops, and passionate young entrepreneurs such as Jessica Deihl who launched Savon Bath Treats in 2016 have transformed the district into a destination for locals, for travelers, and for investors.   read more…



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